It’s times like this it occurs to me that we were lied to by ‘The Jetsons’.
In February of 2002, Kevin Smith wrote a short called “The Flying Car“. It featured Dante and Randal, two characters in Kevin’s Clerks and the soon to be released Clerks II movies. While it is a very funny short, Kevin wrote a climactic monologue for Randal that I have always thought wonderfully captured what is missing in the US these days, especially in the world of politics.
While musing about the lack of a flying car to Dante, Randal poses a ‘what if’ scenario. What would Dante be willing to give up for the flying car. After twisting down a dark road of molestation, amputation with a rusty hacksaw, guilt and ridicule Dante tells Randal that the ‘deal is off’. Randal then says:
See, you’re what’s wrong with this country, hell with this world. You’re always thinking about your own comfort level. Never thinking about the rest of us. This country was built on sacrifice and nearly 30 years of living a life full of selfish foot pampering and intergender intercourse has made you too soft to throw your hat over the wall for the good of mankind. And what’s worse is, not only do you ruin it for the rest of us with the flying car, but you completely blow the notion of American nobility in the process. The children of the world have no heroic figure to emulate. So the future of mankind continues on it’s downward spiral into entropy and mass extinction until all that was once great about the human race lies buried in the primordial stew to which we’ll most certainly return. Thanks to you and ill refusal to reach for the stars and you’ll forever be remembered as the sad footnote in the book of life. The wimpy little scumbag who could of breached the chasm of becoming and being. But instead opted to cover his own ass and foot in the process.
Where are the people willing to throw their hat over the wall? Willing to put what’s best for everyone, not just the majority of voters, ahead of keeping their cushy job in Washington? Willing to breach that chasm of becoming and being?
It’s so easy to plan your administration with what the polls say about your job performance level. It’s easy to promise people the results of other’s hard work in order to keep yourself in office while in the meantime making sure you make enough of the side to keep yourself taken care of for life. That’s what we have now.
But where are the people who come out and inspire us? Who stand up and say “There’s a better way and I know what it is and here’s how we are going to get there.” As pointed out by Randal, Kennedy stood up before the world and said ‘In ten years we will be on the moon’. He didn’t know if we could or couldn’t, but he said we were going to do it anyway.
These days a committee would have to have spent years debating it out, determining where the money spent would go, which districts would be awarded the huge government contracts, etc. Favors would have to have been made, deals cut, compromises agreed upon. Backroom handshakes determining where our tax money would be going would made without any consultation of anyone. And definitely not based on making the best decision for society but for those who happen to be in charge at the time.
And could you imagine the party not in power allowing something like that to go through without ridicule and constant complaining based on every angle they could come up with?
Our last presidential election was only slightly more nauseating than the previous several. I have to go back to Kennedy and Reagan as men who captured the hearts and minds of the citizens of the United States most recently, not because of what they could get you out of the government but because someone was showing everyone a better way. Whether you agreed with that better way or not, at least they had the sac to throw their hats over the wall. Have you heard one politician tell you that he was going to run because someone needed to, not because he had a committee created to examine the likelihood of winning an election before committing to it?
In the coming months of the 2006 election season some will tell you why not to vote for one party or another. Some will tell you to vote against all incumbents, regardless of what they stand for or what party they belong to. Others will try to get you to play the odds, vote to make sure no party has full control of all of our government. Others will say to never vote for a 3rd party candidate because you’re vote ‘won’t count’.
They’re all looking at it the wrong way. Strategizing party power, keeping a specific person in or out of office, convincing you to vote for the lesser of two evils. We’ve been down that road the past few decades. That mentality truly is “Staying the course”.
We should be voting for the person who inspires us the most. If we keep collectively voting for that person who is willing to be passionate, to be inspiring, to show us better ideals to move this country towards. THAT is the person who you should vote for, no matter if he is a member of one of the two large parties, someone who is running as an independent or as a member of a 3rd party. Only by doing so will we then send the right message to Washington.
We are listening, we are paying attention and we do care what you say and do while representing and leading us.
Get the message out, we demand people who are greater than those being paraded out in front of us, forcing us who hold our nose while we vote. We want substance, character and the ability to inspire us.
We want leaders. And we aren’t willing to settle for anything less any longer.